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March 19, 2010

Margie's Sufferage Story

Margie's Sufferage Story

By Me, Margie, who hates missing out on a good battle so be forewarned

Blog Woman Suffrage booth  Okay, in case you are dumb or something, March is Women's History Month.  So I am going to tell you some things about Women and Sufferage, which is about how women used to do all the work but were totally ignored by the men who ran the government.  And, yes, smartypantzers, I know, but I like my spelling better and I am the one filling in for Sweeney so write your own damn story if you don't like mine and get a life.  It's called artistic license. Duh.

I'm sure you know the basics - the 19th Amendment, passed in 1920 (thanks for nothing, founding fathers) that finally gave women the right to vote.  If you don't know, then learn it like all members of the intelligentsia learn shit - School House Rock.  Seriously?  What did you people do before I got here?

Some of my family wasn't even here then, not that Italy was run by Political Amazons.  But some of my great-aunts were and they had stories which I know are totally true, because they wore black all the time and carried rosaries from The Vatican.  They can't tell lies because they will be strangled by their rosaries.

Back in the olden days, when the men were writing the Constitution, they were fighting about the nouns.  If they had just stuck to the word People, all this later crap would have been avoided, but no, they had to use the word men because that's what men do to remind eachother they have dicks.  Not that Franklin or Jefferson needed to remind anyone, since I bet half the kids running around looked like one or the other. But not John Adams, who didn't cheat and usually had a sour look on his face.  Just saying.

These men had big fights about slavery and so when the original Con was signed, it gave rights to white men and that's it.  Eventually, the people woke up and said WTF is that about and they started the Abolition Movement to outlaw slavery.  Guess who basically ran that show?  Women.  It's totally true, look it up.

Blog force fed Suffrage  Women were also bitching because they couldn't vote.  Neither could non-white men.  At the beginning, they all teamed up and then someone decided they had a better shot if they split up and tried to work on gender equality separate from racial equality.  I personally think this was dumb as hell, but then nobody asked me because I would have fixed it without any sisters going to jail and being force fed and force whatever else those redneck jailers were in the mood for - I know people.

There was a big divide in the Women's Sufferage movement and they even created two different organizations. I blame the white men, of course, because they were the only ones with something to lose and so of course they figured if they could pit the women against each other, the women would be so focused on the massive cat fight that they would be too dumb to remember about the voting thing and plus men love to see women fight because they think there is a chance they will see breasts.  Now that I think about it, that was probably the driving force behind the whole thing because if there is anything that can mesmerize a whole bunch of men, besides their own penises, it is the off chance of an appearance of tits.

Can you imagine there was a time when you couldn't vote unless you had the right genital parts in the right color? That's right: no balls = no vote. That is some batshit crazy stuff right there, but it's true.  Women finally got the right to vote in 1920.  Which is like forever ago, but not really when you consider the country started voting back in the 1770s.

Blog susan-b-anthony no failure  Still, the only woman given any real props - measured by who is on the money - was Susan B. Anthony, who got a dollar coin that was just a throwaway invented to appease women and create molds for the Franklin Mint. Nobody even uses them because they look too much like the size of a quarter and most people are too stone assed dumb to get it straight.  That's what we do these days - we accommodate the dumbasses instead of making them nut up and use a brain cell or two.  Which means no women on the money.  Or cut into the sides of big mountains, or made of stone and presiding over Washington D.C.  Why is this?  Because just because women have the right to vote doesn't mean they get voted ON - which means nominated and elected. Know what we call this?  A Fail. A big, fat, blow hole Whale Fail.

Which is why it should totally be the next Women's Movement, and I'm giving you a big clue right here.  Today's women (that would be me and my cousins) know how to get shit done.  And it involves movement, all right. Or the lack of and I don't just mean sex.  Okay I mean mostly sex, but we're no shy flowers just standing around looking good.  Today, we not only look fabulous, but we will kick your ass up and down main street without chipping any nail polish.  

So the ending of this story is being written right now and you'd best get on board and own that March may be the only month officially dedicated to women, but baby, if you want to be happy, every month is women's month.

The end.


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You, Margie, I like your spelling better--when I was a kid, I never could figure out why they spelled it wrong.
Your words remind me it's time to reread Mama Geena's book in which 'if Mama's happy, everyone's happy' is eloquently explained.

Ah, Margie, I love you.

I have been a feminist since the age of 8, when my mom handed me a kiddie lit biography of Susan B. Anthony. I've never figured out how "feminist" became an insult, similar to that other horrifying epithet, "liberal." And I'm still trying to figure out what the opposite of "feminist" is, but I bet this TLC crowd might be able to tell me.

One way I explained how short a time we've had the right to vote to a young woman was that when my mother was five years old, women finally got the right to vote.

My mother's mother lived with us since I could remember. Grandma told us tales about women's sufferage that would curl your hair.

I am proud to say that my Grandma was the first female ticket salesperson for the NY railroad.

The opposite of feminist in my mind would be any non-Western male or a Western male brainwashed by organized religion. While the USA and Europe may be annoying to some, compared to the rest of the world they are a beacon of enlightenment. The barbaric brand of female “circumcision” in the Muslim world. Female babies routinely aborted in China. India’s caste system, arranged marriages and a father must have a dowry to unload his unwanted daughter. South America with its “machismo”. In the vast majority of the non-Western world women are only slightly more valuable than cattle and in some place get even less respect.

The “West” may not be perfect but at least we’re moving in the right direction. I have a mother, a wife, two daughters and three granddaughters who are the joy of my life. My girls were given the opportunity to make their own choices. One is a stay at home mom with four kids. The other is a single 30-something dynamo who is the executive director of the oldest non-profit in Wyoming with a staff of 54. Both are deliriously happy. They were allowed to find their own way and the world is a better place for it.

To expect thousands of years of misogyny to vanish in a single lifetime is unrealistic. To be bitter about it is silly. Besides, you could be living in Saudi Arabia and have to ask one of your male family members to drive you everywhere you want to go while dressed in a stylish head to toe burqa.

Keep pushing the envelope Margie. You’ve come a long way baby, but there is still a long way to go. Remember, a few of us guys have your back.

Pretty much yeah, what Rod said.

"thanks for nothing, founding fathers"

LOL, Margie. That would be a great book title.

I think I have always been a feminist, but just didn't know it until my parents prohibited me from doing things with my 2 male best friends that were either "inappropriate" or "would make people talk" because I was a girl. Grrrrr!

I work in a profession that is hugely male dominated (academic science) and in a department that refuses to admit to any problem with sexism, even though we have the same number of female faculty now (that would be, um, lemme see, 5 out of about 30 total) that we had 15 years ago. And where the washout rate for female grad students is, well, gosh -- I know at least a half dozen who've left the program in the last 4 years, but no males who have done so in 15.

But we don't have a problem. No way. Huh uh. Negatory. Honest.

I could go on and on. Thank heavens for folks like Rod, William, and many, many others, male and female, who still get it. Because the face of sexism has changed, and lots of folks are far more comfortable not recognizing the new one.

As the father of two girls and the son of a life long feminist and the grandson of a flapper, let me say with conviction, "You say throw like a girl like it is a bad a thing."

Rod, great stuff. Although is some countries the combination of killing off girl babies and marring in the faith or clan will eventually make the surviving women more valuable. It would be nice if that happened by choice, not math, but the math will eventually win out.

When I oversaw the web usage of 8th graders there was a site that was blocked that claimed the 19th amendment was the root of all of America's problems. Say what??

A quick clip on voting from the West Wing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be4DW_wHYX4

A quick quote from West Wing on writing:

Scott Tate: Look, I don't want to step on your toes. You don't want to step on mine. We're both writers.

Sam Seaborn: Yes, I suppose, if we broaden the definition to those who can spell.

This one stings a bit since my spelling really sucks. Until Sorkin went completely around the bend from the white powder up his nose, easily the best show on TV. Maybe ever.

Women, it seems to me are becoming more vocal and powerful everyday. Margie. as always you can surely take our history and put it very succinctly.
Clamoring for more tasks and recognition is benefiting everyone and giving men more freedom to attain their gains also.
In my mind in the quest for assertion, both in the workplace and in the interchange between men and women children must be made an important focus. They must be nurtured and know that someone is their to sooth them during the daily routine and strife of growing up. Men and women should be there for each other. If no connection in a household or shared abode exists humanity is thrown out the window.
As Rod put so very eloquently gender distinction throughout the world is appalling.
In America, in my opinion should be wary of becoming too materialistic and strive to open their eyes to others' perils.
A sterile heart has never benefitted anyone.

Dearest cugina Margie,

I wonder if you had a position on if/how the Church subjugates women. I'm going on a retreat tomorrow and I think Father Carm would be interested in your opinions.

Also, mama wants to know if your mom is bringing the zeppole for St. Joseph's dinner tonight?


Cugina Rosie

Hi. It's Me, Margie.

Rosie - ya really wanna get me started on the RC thing? This month? Really? Because I'd love to know the odds of a gay prostitution ring in the Vatican Choir or massive pedophile coverups in Poland if there were WOMEN in this damn mix, okay? Ask THAT at the retreat. Text me first and I'll be ready to pick you up.

And - have you lost it totally? We ALWAYS make the sfinge - I mean the Zeppoli de San Giuseppe. This year I snuck some Baileys into the cream for one of the batches. I'm putting little candy shamrocks on them. Then I'm going to put them on random trays. It'll drive The Aunts nuts!

Rita - you are still planning to help with the St. Joseph's Table, right?

Do the rest of you know the story of St. Joseph's Day? Because you need to, and I'm the one to tell it. I know things.

I'm still waiting for the first female Pope. That's when I'll head back to the One True Faith (as we affectionately refer to it).

When I was growing up the family used to refer to my father as St. Joseph because he stayed in the background and never said much.
All the yakity-yak women took over and of course he never said much...he never had a chance.
I revered him and learned a lot invaluable lessons from him.
He didn't influence me much in the talking department, obviously. I still miss him today.

Holy moly, Margie, how many times I gotta ask, when you text me and I'm in the company of an officer and a gentleman, can you not use every fu...flipping blue word in the dictionary? I know it's just how you express yourself, but sometimes I gotta start explaining to people how to do some of the stuff you say, and I don't even know how myself.

Anywho, yeah yeah, I'm helping with the table. Helping. Not, like, doing it all by myself, capiche?

About your fancy schmancy blog, all I got to say is this. A girl's vote counts the same as a boy's vote, so there.

Bye-bye, writer ladies!

Cousin Rita

P.S. Wait a minute. I thought we weren't letting Rosie go on any more "retreats."

Man, now I gotta start calling some people.

Cousin Rita

Rita -

No shit. That girl is outta control when it comes to Carm. Maybe HE is the one who needs a special Mancini visit. No offense, Padre.

But we can't do everything! I am elbow deep in pastry dough because my mother decided we needed more sfinge for tonight. I'm making Rocco come over and pipe in the cream.

And listen, cugina - who the fuck checks their text messages when they are with an officer/gentleman/whoeverTF? Don't blame me if your seaman can't keep your attention.

I can't type because I'm laughing too hard.

But I'm not that good a typer anyway.

But let me say--I got my first job in radio because at age 20 I reminded the news director that the station's license was up for renewal at the FCC and they didn't have any women working there. It was --1970? 71? And I got the job.

Today, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer are sitting in Walter Cronkite's chair. (You know what I mean.)

So change can work. Next step: Mt. Rushmore. Which woman would you put there?

Ah, the shared wisdom of Margie, Marie, Hank, Rod . . . and all . .
I am remembering the day the young woman reading Portia in my Shakespeare class asked me to define feminist. Thinking there really had to be more to it than equal rights and pay, the class checked the dictionary and then unanimously agreed that they were all feminists! I was so proud of them! My trick question for the Am. Lit. class was "when did women get equal rights?" . . . still waiting . . .
I was an activist in the '70's and the first woman agent at the Prudential office in Minneapolis (same thing, they knew legal action was coming their way if they didn't, plus, the manager could get a new, less feminist, secretary ;-) His prior attempts to demote me had been met with resistance by the assistant manager (who said she would quit, and he could never have run the place without her).
Anyone remember when Help Wanted ads were divided into Men and Women??

Where to begin?

First, to answer Harley's wish for a female pope. Rumors are a woman named Pope Joan was in office for a few medieval years:


Second, when I was in Boston in the late 90s on my daughter's college tour, Sacagawea dollars were being used as tokens on the T (Hank, is this still happening?). Sad, sad, sad...

Third, when I graduated college in the middle 70s, I went door to door to put in applications at businesses in Knoxville. One place I walked into, the man who came to greet me said they weren't hiring any secretaries right then. I said, "What makes you think I was looking for a secretarial position?" He stammered something chauvinistic as I walked out.

I FINALLY got a clerk job at a bank (because my sister knew the head of personnel), but not a manager-trainee position. I was told since I didn't have a Business degree (mine was Lib Arts) that I couldn't be hired into that program. However, men were let in even if they never went to college. I had more education than my boss. That's when I knew I had to get out of Knoxville. Two years later I found a job in DC and never looked back.

And last, thanks to lots of hard work by dedicated women and men over the last two centuries, our schools are integrated and more women and minorities are in higher-paying jobs. Both of my children seem to be color-blind when it comes to friends (YAY) and expect to have a mix of males and females throughout workplace (well, except my daughter is in the mostly male-dominated field of electrical engineering). I don't know if it's this way across the USA or just in the larger East Coast cities/regions, but I hope it continues through to the following generations.

You Margie, Great post. Funny and yet thought-provoking.

Did you know that New Jersey allowed women (who owned property) to vote from 1790 till 1844 when they rescinded it?

Hank, I'd like to see Sacagawea on Mount Rushmore.

I first became a feminist when I met my wife. She told me how her high school guidance counselor gave her the option to either be a nurse or a teacher. Since she didn't like either of those options, she decided to pass on college. This was in Massachusetts in the late 60s. She had a very high grade point and had won a mathematics medal. Later on she became a programmer for an insurance company and did very well. I still feel outraged when I think of this. There was no one she could turn to for useful advice.

As a former electrical engineer, I can relate to Becky's post. Kudos to your daughter for entering the field. In the mid 70s there were very few female engineers. Most of the women I worked with were computer scientists. More and more female engineers were hired as time went by but they were still in the minority. At the same time in the software area women outnumbered the men. Now that electrical engineering unemployment is at record levels, it's going to be very difficult to attract women (or anyone) to the profession.

She, Margie, wrote " . . . John Adams, who . . . usually had a sour look on his face. Just saying."

He looked sour because he was kept away from his ever-lovin', ever-brilliant, ever-competent anchor of his soul Abigail for waaaaaaay too many years. There were Founding Fathers, and then there was the couple (John and Abigail) who actually dug the foundations, capisce?

Rod, I miss 'The West Wing' and Sorkin's brilliance more than I can say. He's gotta have something in development by now. There's work to be done!

Women in St. Louis lost rights when the area went from French control to U.S. and laws based on English common law.

I come from a communist country that obviously had not been the best system on the earth. But at least I can say that they made a lot for women's rights. Since many-many years women could choose the way they wanted to go. One of my grandmothers was a film director, the other one was a surgeon. And I cannot conceive that somebody would direct my life just because I'm a girl.

I read about Pope Joan who would have been a female Pope during the Middle Ages. Funny story.

Oh sorry, Becky. I didn't see that you'd already written about Pope Joan.

Ok, I'm all puzzled how a comment (mine, I do believe) from March 9th is posted here and I hadn't even signed on yet?
You, Margie, you're good to remember and quote me, is all I can figure!
A lady Pope? Will she look like Harley or HRM the QE II? I vote for her looking like Harley, although as you Mancini ladies will undoubtedly remind me, the church will have to make a few rule changes to allow Harley herself to be Popess.

When I took the standardised tests (on abilities or something) in high school, I was horrified to see that the assessment of my masculinity/femininity was that I was lacking in femininity (I can't believe that they even dared such assessments, looking back at it). I thought of myself as a reasonably feminine young woman, pretty but not beautiful, glad to be a girl but not too prissy to wear jeans, etc. I nearly cried while going over the results with my teacher, who said that I received the 'more masculine' rating because I answered the question about whether I would faint at the sight of blood, 'no.' There were several other questions to which girls were supposed to give a dramatically different answer than boys. But, I wanted to be a doctor, so why would I faint at the sight of blood? Of course, no one could quite tell me in 1967 or so, exactly how to make my way to medical school, while my uncle told me I should study secretarial skills and get a teaching degree. Neither thrilled me. I eventually made my way to physician status, quite a few years later, but I did make it.
BTW, Me, Margie, there's no equivalent word to feminist, when referring to advocates for male equality . . . .

. . . of course, one of my enlightened male friends in the '70's (and there were many, many wise men who supported women's rights!) pondered tongue-in-cheek about why we would ever want to step down to be mere equals with men . . . clever, popular guy . . .

Laraine, just think how many people are healthier because you didn't take your uncle's advice!

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